All Questions

33
votes
6answers
1k views

Can I copy-paste a snippet from Stack Overflow into my GNU-GPL project?

I have found on Stack Overflow a 10-lines block of code that does exactly what I want. There is no license information in the post nor on the answerer's profile page, so the CC BY-SA 3.0 license of ...
6
votes
3answers
78 views

Should I archive/delete old projects of questionable quality [closed]

I have some old projects that I personally consider close to worthless at this stage, if there's any user-base they are likely to have their own forks and while there's some nifty tricks in them the ...
20
votes
2answers
513 views

Can I license a project which I have already released without a license?

If I have put my code in one of the online repositories and have made it public but haven't licensed it... (to which the policy is that you retain the copyright). Is it enough to just commit a ...
65
votes
1answer
29k views

What are the essential differences between BSD and MIT licences?

There are many articles out there which cover the topic in length and breadth but so far I haven't found a nice concise answer to the question. What are the most important differences between the ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

What licenses can be used for open source projects? [closed]

I really don't know much about licensing. All I know is there are a hell of a lot of licenses out there. I suppose there are so many, because each one exists for a specific use. Is there a list of ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

What happens if very common code is released under GPL?

I know GPL can be used as an open-source license for source code etc. But what if the source code released has very few lines and has a lot of probability that it might also have been written already ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How is open source encryption safe?

Correct me if I'm wrong but since the cryptographic algorithm is open source, doesn't it mean that everyone who can access the code would be able to crack it? I'm probably wrong since there are many ...
15
votes
1answer
334 views

Can I open source my music which includes copyrighted sound effects?

If I compose a piece of music using instruments and sound effects that I don't own the copyright to (but am licensed to use), can I release my composition under a free/open license that allows ...
50
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I include license text in a single file or all source files?

Many licenses, such as Apache 2.0, have both a long and a short form. Typically, the long form is included in the repository as a single LICENSE file, and the short form is used in the actual source ...
17
votes
2answers
394 views

What are the upsides for a company to contribute to an open-source software they use?

Many software developing companies use open source tools or open source libraries. Sometimes they even tweak this software for their needs. So, one might argue that this tweaks should be given back to ...
19
votes
5answers
535 views

Can I select who can contribute to my Open Source Project?

Take this into consideration: I post one of my software projects that I had written for school, and give it an open source license, and place it online for people to evaluate and contribute their ...
29
votes
3answers
1k views

Do I really need to include a licence file for common licences like GPL or MIT?

The GPL3, for example, says: Conveying Verbatim Copies. You may convey verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and ...
17
votes
2answers
685 views

Can I redistribute CC-BY works in DRM-protected app stores?

CC-BY 4.0 (and the related licenses with "BY" in their names, like CC-BY-SA, CC-BY-NC) includes a clause that says I must not place "additional restrictions" on the work: No additional restrictions ...
22
votes
3answers
227 views

For what reasons should you make the user agree to a FOSS licence during installation?

Most Windows installers for FOSS software make the user agree to the licence during installation: there'll be a page where the text is shown and a little tick box, you must have seen it before. But ...
22
votes
2answers
589 views

What do I need to share if I include CC-BY-SA artwork in my software?

CC-BY-SA is a Creative Commons license with a copyleft clause - if you derive something from it, you must also provide the derivative under the same license if you distribute it. The relevant clause ...
13
votes
1answer
212 views

What restrictions can I place on a device whose software is licensed using GPL v3?

Let's say I'm selling a device with my software pre installed whose license is GPL v3. I want to prevent an unauthorized OS from being installed. According to GPL v3, I will have to share the private ...
-4
votes
2answers
156 views

Can I trust project-hosting websites after Sourceforge? [closed]

Sourceforge was once the number one in project hosting for open source projects. But things have changed. And some things Sourceforge does are worrying. The adware injected into binaries of Open-...
8
votes
4answers
582 views

How can I determine if some code I want to release as opensource is already licensed or proprietary?

Is there a way to analyze my code I want to release as opensource to see if it is / or has parts that are already licensed or proprietary?
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Guiding new volunteers learning a large codebase [closed]

Working in an open source project has the result that sometimes developers with no experience in the codebase attempt to "learn the code" on their own. There is a reoccurring trap I've seen, where ...
22
votes
7answers
334 views

How do open-source concepts apply to hardware?

Most of us know open-source and open-source concepts from software. Code is easily distributable. We have various licences that help us legalize and regulate how people use our code, and we have ...
7
votes
2answers
182 views

How can I keep a project from losing momentum? [closed]

How can I keep people involved and motivated to work on a project that doesn't involve direct monetary benefit? What specific strategies do open source projects tend to use to keep core developers ...
10
votes
3answers
358 views

What type(s) of licenses ensures that forks of my project will stay open source?

My knowledge of licensing is somewhat fuzzy, it's something I wish I would have looked into more when I got into making open source projects... That being stated, are there licenses that will ensure ...
0
votes
1answer
162 views

Hierarchy of an open source project [closed]

As a project grows from a single developer to a dedicated group to a large community, what are best practices for setting up the project hierarchy to encourage high quality contributions across all ...
25
votes
3answers
926 views

How could using code released under CC0 infringe on the author's patents?

Creative Commons defines a CC0 license type (here's the full legal code) that claims to allow creators to release their works into the public domain by waiving "all their copyright and related rights ...
3
votes
2answers
643 views

Is open source software less or more secure than proprietary software? [closed]

Free software evangelists often advertise free and open source software to be more secure than proprietary alternatives. Is this true, and why? Are there security reasons not to use free and open ...
5
votes
2answers
174 views

How do I recruit a graphic designer to help on a project with no funding involved? [closed]

Recognized graphic designers usually charge a fee for their work, but what if this project isn't expecting any funds and is expected to run purely off the community? How would I attract a graphic ...
9
votes
1answer
292 views

How can I make a customer understand that free software involves some costs? [closed]

A common misunderstanding is that free software (replace the terms with "open source software" as you wish) will never involve costs. While this might be indeed true regarding you don't need to pay ...
12
votes
2answers
98 views

What is the Open Governance Model? How is it different from other models?

The prime example being iojs as a fork of nodejs, where the main difference being (aside from the obvious advancement in technology versioning and being more up-to-date), is that iojs has an Open ...
6
votes
1answer
75 views

How should I approach open sourcing a library from work?

I've developed a small and useful library at work, I have permission from legal department, what are the steps I should take before, during and after open sourcing the project? How would I transform ...
8
votes
4answers
78 views

Legal pitfalls when (re)selling OS solutions?

What legal pitfalls should be considered when (re)selling OS bases solutions? As you can't ask any fee for the Open Source code itself this seems a sensitive area to me.
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What should I keep a close attention to when selecting a license for my project? [closed]

There are plenty of open source licenses out there. What should a person especially keep in mind while they're selecting a license for their project?
77
votes
6answers
6k views

How can large open source projects be monetized?

Many open source projects I see involve having dedicated servers, as well as the expensive infrastructure that powers it. How are these projects monetized to cover the costs introduced during ...
15
votes
4answers
138 views

What is the most concise unambiguous way to represent dual licensing of a work?

I publish photos under multiple Creative Commons licenses and often want to indicate the licensing in a short caption or comment on the photo online or in print. If one of them is dual licensed, how ...
23
votes
2answers
291 views

Is OSI approval important for a license?

I've heard an open source license described as "popular and OSI-approved". To that, someone asks: Is OSI approval important? which is a great — and important — question in its own right. So, is ...
9
votes
3answers
181 views

How does one enforce aspects of a license?

I've been provided a SourceMod plugin for a community game server. I was provided the compiled plugin, but not the source code. The license and explanation provided describes all SourceMod plugins as ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

What happens when a GPL licence is changed to a LGPL?

I'm using an open source library under GPL in a closed source project. If the libraries license changes from GPL to LGPL, does it mean the previous code (written when the library was GPL) should be ...
41
votes
9answers
1k views

Does open source qualify as being part of the public domain?

According to Google, Open Source is... denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. It seems to be that the product seems to ...
34
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I attract new programmers?

I am working on a project, currently by myself. It's a side project, I'm not expecting to make money on it. It's posted on GitHub, and I'm going to be building a project page for it. Once it's built, ...
17
votes
2answers
487 views

Can I restrict who can utilize my software?

Can a project be licensed as "open source", yet place a restriction on who can utilize the software? For example, if my software falls under software export controls, can I continue to license it as "...
38
votes
3answers
2k views

What can/should I do when I see a violation to GPL restrictions?

Some years ago, I was working on a software company that used some copyrighted JAR dependencies that they had bought from a medium-size obscure private company for a very expensive price. After some ...
14
votes
7answers
949 views

How can I find usage statistics for an open source project?

Put simply, is there any way to find out how widely used a given open source project is? Say, for example, I am looking for a serialization library. I can imagine various metrics to help choose ...
26
votes
4answers
1k views

If I include some GPL code in my project, can I release it as BSD?

I have scientific software that I would like to release under the BSD 3-clause licence, but it includes some old code that was released under GPL. Can I still package it all and release as BSD?
48
votes
5answers
3k views

How can a project be relicensed?

I've found out that the license I picked for my project does not quite do what I wanted it do (bad research). Now I want to change the license. Is it as simple as changing the LICENSE.txt in the root?...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

What should I look for in a platform to make my project easy to edit? [closed]

To clarify, since I don't know if "platform" is the right word: I'm talking about things like GitHub or the late Google Code. What features should I look for in a code publishing platform so that ...
15
votes
1answer
204 views

What license must I use on a commercial version of an open source project?

Suppose I have published a project under the Apache 2.0 (or similarly permissive license). Internally I have another version of the same project, which provides significantly extended functionality ...
20
votes
3answers
467 views

What are the advantages of adding a Contributor License Agreement to a project?

Some projects have a Contributor License Agreement (as example the CLA of the Apache foundation). What is it for? What are the consequences when I don't have one?
23
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the difference between permissive and copyleft licenses?

I've heard both terms thrown around, but I'm a bit unclear as to how the licenses differ. How is copyleft different to a permissive license? Is copyleft just the standard for open source licenses?
19
votes
4answers
300 views

Very permissive license

I'm about to launch my current project as Open Source. People should feel free to do with the code whatever they want and luckily there are quite a few licensing options to choose from. So I'm ...
26
votes
5answers
306 views

How do I stop people from opening questions in the issue tracker?

I'm a collaborator in a pretty popular open source project hosted on GitHub. We have a problem where people constantly show up in the issue tracker and post questions about the library. Dealing with ...
33
votes
2answers
678 views

Can I change the caps to lowercase in licenses?

The well-known MIT (or "X11/MIT" license reads): Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), ...

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